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Red Wings' Datsyuk focused on this season

Detroit forward would not comment on potential return to Russia

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk refused to say Monday where he would play next season, not addressing rumors he would return to his native Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League.

"I have one more year on my contract and we have three games left this year," Datsyuk said. "This is more the focus for me now. I'm not looking at next year."

Sportsnet reported Saturday that Datsyuk, 37, is considering returning to play in the KHL in his native Russia after this season because of family reasons.

"My family is my family," Datsyuk said Monday. "I just want to be quiet with my family. I don't want to share information about my family with anybody."

Video: DET@FLA: Datsyuk rattles home power-play goal

Datsyuk is scheduled to enter the final season of a three-year, $22.5 million contract in 2016-17. If he leaves after this season the Red Wings would remain responsible for the $7.5 million NHL salary-cap charge for next season because he signed the contract after he turned 35.

"Pav has a year to go," general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit News on Saturday. "I hear lots of rumors. There were rumors last summer, there were rumors the summer before. There was rumors about Nick Lidstrom for about three years. It's all rumors.

"He's got a year to go on his contract. I'm going to sit down with all our players at the end of the year, one by one, and talk to them all. Obviously I'll sit down with Pav."

Datsyuk has 48 points in 63 games this season, tied with forward Henrik Zetterberg for the Red Wings lead. They have won two straight games to move into third place in the Atlantic Division with three games remaining. Detroit hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

"Our focus right now is on winning a hockey game Wednesday, so to be honest with you I didn't pay much attention to it," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Monday. "We're solely focused on trying to win this game on Wednesday, just like were last Saturday. Anything with future players, we'll sit down at the end of the year and talk to those players and see what that brings."

Datsyuk, a sixth-round pick (No. 171) by the Red Wings in the 1998 NHL Draft, has spent his entire NHL career with the organization, winning the Stanley Cup in 2002 and 2008. His 917 points are sixth in Red Wings' history, and earlier this season he joined Hockey Hall of Fame members Steve Yzerman, Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio as the only players to have 300 goals, 600 assists and 900 points with the Red Wings.

"Pavel is concentrating on helping his team to make the playoffs and winning another Stanley Cup for the Red Wings," Datsyuk's agent, Dan Milstein told MLive.com on Saturday. "Pavel also has one more year left on his NHL contract. We will sit down with Ken Holland at the conclusion of the season for our annual year-end meeting."

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